A push, a shove and a lesson

After I left the doctor’s office, I walked into the McDonald’s around the corner.

There was a line up and I wanted some greasy fries.   There were 3 people in front of me so I took my time figuring out what to eat.

“You want to box me?  Are you serious?”

“Don’t you touch me!”

I looked at the girl in the line up who was visibly angry and irate at the guy in front of me.  He was a bit taller than I was and his head was covered by the hood of his faded red sweatshirt.

He said something again to girl and jabbed her in the shoulders.  She took at step at him and pushed back at him.  He stepped back into me and I extended my left hand to let him know there was someone behind him.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and I didn’t know if the girl needed any help.  There were about 10 people in the McDonald’s (one of those smaller ones).  The girl got to the counter and told the staff that the guy was harassing him and could they kick him out?  The girl behind the counter looked for her manager.  A lady in her 40s came out and spoke to the girl.  The guy stood to the side and said she was buying him some food.  He was a skinny black teen with a bit of a scruff on his chin.

The girl said she wasn’t buying him anything and he is harassing her.  The manager told the guy if he’s not buying any food, then he should leave.  The manager asked the girl if she knows this guy.  The girl said they g to the same school but they are not friends.  The manager said something about calling 911 if he continues to bother her.

I had my mind made up.  He’s the bad guy.  Some punk who likes being a bully.  I also started to figure out what to do in case he started to get violent.  Should I go for the eyes first?  Maybe kick his balls?

Just then a middle aged black woman walked past me and said to the guy “Do you need some money to buy food?  Are you hungry?”  I thought for sure this woman was gonna get yelled at.

But the guy just said “No, I don’t need money.  She’s buying me food.”  The girl got her order and left, leaving the guy behind standing by the counter.  He kept asking the staff if she ordered fries for him.  They told him several times, no one ordered food for him.  He just stood there while I ordered.

The woman came by again and asked if he was ok.  I think he just mumbled yes.  In the end, the manager took his order for some fries and he left after paying for it with a card.  He didn’t look like that punk anymore. The tension from his face was gone.

I sat back and wondered what just unfolded.  I saw it with my own eyes.  Eyes that are flawed with biases and prejudice.  The black woman saw something in that “punk” that I didn’t see.  Yeah, he was out of line by harassing her.  But I’m sure there’s something more to this.

Life is still teaching me lessons.




12 thoughts on “A push, a shove and a lesson

  1. I’m sure there’s a lesson but being one who travels a lot, stopping by a McDonalds for just an iced coffee or tea while on the road, I see this behavior all the time depending on what town you’re in. It’s sad that people are so mean to each other.

    • I rarely drop by a McDonald’s but I had such a strong craving for their fries that day. I’m wondering what was missing in their upbringing that cause or contributed to this kind of behaviour. It’s sad.

      • Their fries are the best! I know how I raised my kids that are now 20 and 21 and I see such a BIG difference in how some kids are brought up. It’s so not the fault of the children but that of the parents.

  2. I had to read the story again, in particular the first part where you first walked in and describing what was happening. I guess we all have our pre conceived notions and need to learn to overcome prejudice. However in your initial description you mentioned that the guy jabbed the girl in the shoulder. Doesn’t sound like something that would have left me with a good impression of him.

    • You’re right. When I first saw him, he wasn’t in my good books. Yet despite all the shoving he did, the woman (I should have added that she was there all the time), saw some good in him.

  3. In such circumstances we wonder what to do or what to think and it appears the truth can be different than what we appears at a first glance . it means we have to be prudent to judge or react.
    In friendship

  4. Life is frustrating, perplexing, sad, and at times scary. (etc.)
    But, I’m so glad we can still learn the lessons it teaches.
    And we can add some hope, joy, truth, love, (etc.) to try to combat the ignorance and hate.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

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